Tas Evi                                                           

Home page Accommodation Selçuk Nearby Photo gallery Reservations Archaeological sites

The Temple of Artemis
Artemis temple The Artemision, considered one of the seven wonders of the world, was a building of unparalleled splendour. It was the largest building in the Hellenistic world and also the first work of monumentalproportions ever to be constructed of marble. Sadly virtually nothing remains but a part of the foundations. It has nevertheless been possible to draw reconstaructions and the Didymaion has close similarities , so that one can begin to visualise what it would have been like.
Before the Greeks the site was sacred to the mother goddess Kybele. The first hellenistic building was probably constructed in 7th century B.C.. In 570 B.C. work had begun on a large temple on Samos. Not to be outdone by a rival city the Ephesians brought Chersiphron and his son Metagenes from Crete and they enlisted the services of the architect Theodoros, who had worked on the Heraion, on Samos, to construct a temple to replace the earlier smaller temple. Like on Samos the temple was built on swampy ground. What emerged an Ionic temple, the Archaic Artemision, that was a work of art, in every way more beautiful and more mature. The stylobate of the temple measured 55 by 115m. Pliny, who saw the later temple, relates that the total number of columns was 127 of which 36 were in front and were carved with reliefs. The temple contained 22 columns on long side and 9 on the short side. It is likely the earlier temple had the same plan. The columns were 19m in height, twelve times the lower diameter. The statue of Artemis stood in a naiskos inside the unroofed cella. In 356 B.C. a man called Herostratos, to achieve eternal fame set fir to the Archaic Artemision which completely destroyed the ceiling and inner architrave of wood. 
Before marching into Persia Alexander the Great offered sacrifices in the ruins  and expressed a wish for its reconstruction. It was decided to rebuild to the same design on the foundations of its predecessor, although this was now a higher 13 stepped crepidoma 2.7m high. This was probably the only difference between the two buildings but it was now one of the seven wonders of the Hellenistic world.The cult satue (below) stood in the cella and was probably of the Roman type known as the Artemis Ephesia (now in Selcuk museum). The height of the columns was 18m, 10 times the lower diameter.
Artemis Artemis

museum The archaeological museum in Selcuk is one of the finest localmuseums in turkey. Here are many of the works of art brought to light during the excavation of Ephesus and its environs. Prior to the First World War most of the finds are in Vienna., whilst thiose discovered after the war went to Izmir. The most important items are the two statues of the Artemis Ephesia, the sarcophagus and columns from the Belevi mausoleum, the altar of the Temple of Domitian and various statues from differnt monuments.

Isa Bey Mosque
Isa  Bey Isa Bey
One of the major works representing  Turkish Seljuk art is the mosque on the hill at Ayasoluk, built by Isa Bey a member of the ruling family in Aydin iand completed in 1375 A.D.. This is the oldest known example of a Turkish mosque with a courtyard. The details of the ornamentation is typical of the Turkish style ttransitional between the Seljuk and Ottoman periods.

Selcuk Castle
Castle Castle

The citadel on Ayasuluk Hill, with two sets of walls, was built around the 6th century . From the 7th to the 9th century, the city of Ephesus was divided between the harbor town and the citadel on the hill, a mile away. Both were designed for defense against constant attacks by Arabs and pirates. The walls around St. John's were reinforced, using marble blocks from the previous site of Ephesus. The combination of the marble façade and the mortared rubble made the walls 4m thick. The citadel walls are 1.5 km around with 15 towers. Entry to the citadel from the south is through the Gate of Persecution, which leads into the Basilica. The Gate used to have a frieze of Odysseus discovering Achilles, and when it was mistakenly thought to depict the persecution of Christians, the gate acquired its name. In the 8th century the square towers on either side of the gate were made pentagonal, aiding in their defensive capabilities. The Despite efforts to keep the harbour from silting up gradually the population moved to around the castle and it was witness to the numerous upheavals in the area over the following centuries, as the Turks tried to displace the Ottoman occupiers .Both the First and Second Crusades passed through occupying the castle. It finally surrendered to the Seljuks, in 1304, who plundered St John's Basilica and killed or deported its inhabitants. Once the Ottomans came to power in the 15th century, the port became unusable and Ephesus was abandoned the population just drifting away. 

St John's Basilica
Basilica According to Christian legend St John, the disciple, lived on thisAyasoluk hill and was buried here. At first this grave was marked with a memorial which was then enclosed with a 4th century church and then by a domed basilica erected by Justinian (527-565 A.D.). Entry to this cross shaped building was gained from the west through a courtyard leading into the narthex to the east and so into the nave. Six domes formen the roof of the nave and transept while galleries stretched over the aisle. St John's grave is situated in the most central domed section. This was one of the most important shrines in the Christian world throughout the Middle Ages.

St John's Basilica St John's basilica

Belevi Mausoleum
This stands about 11km from Ephesus on the road to Tire. It was the largest and highest tomb in Anatolia after the Mausoleum at Halicarnassos, another of the seven wonders of the world. Its core was local rock faced with marble with a central burial chamber hollowed out containing the sarcophagus now in Selcuk museum. On the top stood a peristasis of the Doric order with 8 columns on each side. Statues of lion-griffins the size of a lion stood on the edges of the roof.  The final height was 23m without the roof. This structure was of a very high standard although it has been disputed whom it was built for. It may have been the Seleucid king Antiochos II, Theos, who died at Ephesus in 246 B.C. Belevi mausoleum

The Cave of the Seven Sleepers ,
Seven sleepers

Legend has it that during the persecutions of the Roman emperor Decius, around 250, seven young men were accused of Christianity. They were given some time to recant their faith, but instead gave their worldly goods to the poor and retired to a mountain to pray, where they fell asleep. The emperor ordered the mouth of the cave to be sealed. Decius died in 251 and many years passed during which Christianity became the major religion of the Roman Empire. During the reign ofTheodosius II (408 - 450) — the landowner decided to open up the sealed mouth of the cave, thinking to use it as a cattle pen and found the sleepers inside. 

They awoke, imagining that they had slept but one day.  The bishop was summoned to interview the sleepers; they told him their miracle story, and died praising God. An early Christian catacomb came to be associated with it, attracting pilgrims. A chrch was constructed at the site of the cave, the 'Grotto' of the Seven Sleepers, which contains a number of  graves which were dated to the 5th and 6th centuries. Inscriptions dedicated to the Seven Sleepers were found on the walls of the church and in the graves. 

The Aqueducts
aqueduct Aqueduct
Aqueduct of C Sextilius Pollio Sirince aqueduct
At its highpoint in the 2nd century A.D., Ephesos had roughly 250,000 inhabitants.  Their private residences, six large bathing complexes, many nymphaea, and the public latrines all needed to be supplied with enormous amounts of water. The earliest aqueduct was established by King Lysimachos in the first half of the 3rd century B.C.  to supply the city, delievring water  between the two city hills from a source not far outside the city. This was probably no more than a single course of terracotta pipes .  The Aqua Throessitica was probably established during the 2nd century B.C. again supplying the greater city by means of two courses of terracotta pipes laid on berms.  Another course of pipes was added on during the Augustan period, when C. Sextilius Pollio accessed a water source on the slope lying opposite, and caused it to flow into the Aqua Throessitica over a particularly monumental aqueduct bridge constructed by him and running across the  road leading to Magnesia. This aqueduct had attained a total length of 8 km. and was carried into the city over six bridges.  This aqueduct lies on the road to Aydin a few kilometres out of Selcuk. It is easy to miss as you ascend the hill as it sits in a narrow valley to the left of the road.
aqueduct An additional aqueduct, which may be Hellenistic but is at least certainly Roman in date, is the Sirince  Aqueduct. This runs into the city from the east over a distance of 6 km. with numerous terracotta pipe courses. In the 6th century A.D. this same alignment was used for a new conduit, which supplied the settlement which had grown up around the Justinianic Basilica of St. John. 
The 656 m. long bridge over the valley, with its 125 pilasters, dominates still the modern city centre of Selçuk. During the Selçuk period, the Sirince Aqueduct was again used to supply the Isa Bey Mosque and its environs with water; however, the two terracotta pipe courses were not carried over the large aqueduct bridges, but instead along the ground on their south side, and over the so-called Suterasi towers, in order to reduce air in the pipes and to reduce pressure. aqueduct